3-26-2012 Too Heavenly Minded to be Earthly Good?
Have you ever wondered if there is more to the Christian life than sitting in the pew, taking in the word of God, and living in the big Christian bubble? I’ve been there, done that, and found that the big bubble for all it protects you from is your own worst enemy. What do I mean? The bible tells us we are to live in the world but be NOT of the world. This means that we are to take what we learn on Sunday and throughout the week and make it practical in every sphere of life. That means wherever we are, we need to have a heavenly mindset without compromising what we have been taught and what we use as our authority, is the word of God. Unfortunately there are unhealthy self purporting Christians out there who reject any type of confrontation with the culture.
So in order to do this well, we need godly friends who can speak into our lives and the freedom to go into the spheres of influence where we can have maximum impact for God’s kingdom. The bible says ” Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. (Pro 22:29) In other words that giftedness God has given you is for his glory. And what better way to be influential in a world that has to face a living God someday, than to be a person of influence. In reality the old saying “people don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care” is apropos. The negative causal today is that too many churches are only caring for there own and not looking for opportunities outside their bubble.
I pray we are a church that looks out instead of staying in their small circles and eventually shredding each other as their myopic heavenly mindset eventually tears instead of helping. Do you know you will have multiple opportunities this week to be a good neighbor to those in your circles of influence. A neighbor is more than someone who is near by, but some one you are being neighborly to. And if we believe that God wants us to make new friends, then we must be willing to look outside of small circles of friends. The acronym for joy has always challenged me to be others minded. Jesus Others Yourself is a good way to look at your day. If the great commission is calling us to go and make new friends and baptize and help them mature in Christ, and the great commandment is calling us after loving God to love our neighbors, I think it’s time we all start looking at ways to reach those in our communities.
How can we do this if we don’t have the freedoms that others do, to move around the community at our leisure (ie Moms with kids). Go to the same stores each week at the same time hoping to meet people on a consistent basis. Walk in the same area or visit the same parks consistently at the same time if possible. Make eye contact and look to start conversations. Look for ways to help out those around you. Our church is not legalistic in that we say you must do these because we treasure the prize (Jesus) more than we do our efforts. Yet we want our efforts to reflect the new hearts and newly implanted desires he has given us (Philippians 2:13).
I pray that this week we will all look up and out before we look in. Martin Luther once was quoted as saying “for every one look in, we need ten looks up”. Our community is having a cleanup day this Saturday in Corky Row and I plan to be a part of it. It’s planning to do something on Easter for the community, and I plan to be a part. If you can make it out, I encourage you to give 1-2 hours of this weekend to serving others. The bible has told us we have been set free not to serve ourselves but others. (For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Gal 5:13)
Yes it is important to spend time with close friends in your body of believers, but lets look this week for opportunities to be impactful in the communities that God places us outside the local church. Remember the call to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) assumes we are going. Remember that the best neighbor this world has ever known, left a perfect environment and entered into a broken dismal, fallen world, and gave ALL of himself so that we could be adopted into the family of God. Now we are God’s friends, no longer is his anger upon me, and now I can move forward confidently because he went before me and won the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57) Because he left his bubble I can come out of mine and head out on the limb. I pray we all venture out where the fruit is!!! Are you still too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good? Remember JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith!!